BatCats hope to hop out of last place


As the 2014 season nears its close, the baseball team will hope to hop out of last place in the Big 12 as they travel to Fort Worth, Texas for a weekend series against No. 22 TCU.

With 10 games remaining in their season and nine in conference play, K-State (23-22, 4-11 Big 12) is fighting to get out of ninth place in the Big 12, as just the top eight teams play in the Big 12 Tournament in May. After finishing first in the league last season, the Wildcats are nowhere close to where they wanted to be before the year started. However, a strong finish would at least earn them some extra games.

TCU (31-13, 10-5 Big 12) may prove to be one of the toughest teams on the Wildcats’ schedule this year, led by their stellar pitching. The Horned Frogs’ pitching staff has a 2.92 ERA this season, which is third-best in the Big 12.

Friday night’s matchup will pit K-State sophomore Levi MaVorhis (5-5, 3.62 ERA) against the Horned Frogs’ ace and one of the top pitchers in the Big 12 Brandon Finnegan (7-2, 1.50 ERA).

Saturday’s starters will be for Jordan Floyd (0-1, 5.60 ERA) K-State and Preston Morrison (6-3, 1.42 ERA) for TCU.

Sunday will be a matchup between K-State freshman Nate Griep (3-4, 3.50 ERA) and Tyler Alexander (5-3, 2.52 ERA).

K-State’s offense has been paced all season by senior second baseman Ross Kivett, who leads the team in batting average (.339), on-base percentage (.452), doubles (10), stolen bases (19), total bases (79) and is tied for the team lead with three home runs as he prepares to put the final notes on his K-State career.

Ranking second in on-base percentage and slugging is designated hitter Tanner DeVinny, who has enjoyed a solid freshman campaign for the Wildcats. DeVinny has been especially stellar in Big 12 play, where his .349 average is third in the conference, while his .628 slugging percentage and .472 on-base percentage against Big 12 teams are both first.

TCU’s offense has plenty of threats, starting with Boomer White, who is batting .351 on the season, and is tied for the team lead with 28 RBIs. The other team leader in that category is Kevin Cron, who is only batting .266, but paces the squad with 13 doubles and four home runs.